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Sodebo Ultim 3 reports collision with an unidentified floating object in Transat Jacques Vabre

by Transat Jacques Vabre 11 Nov 2021 10:07 GMT 10 November 2021
Thomas Coville - Sodebo Ultim 3 © Eloi Stichelbaut / Sodebo

Sodebo Ultim 3 is being assessed following last night's collision with an unidentified floating object. 11th Hour Racing Team - Alaka'i have officially abandoned the race after yesterday's dismasting. The rest of the fleet has now split up as the four different classes head south at decent speed.

Last night at 01h00 (French time), Sodebo Ultim 3 hit a UFO, damaging the starboard foil. Thomas Coville and Thomas Rouxel are fine and are safe in the boat. They are currently continuing their race but at a slower pace.

Their rivals in front are deciding on different options as they approach Madeira. SVR - Lazartigue and Actual Ultim 3 have chosen to pass to the east of the island, while Maxi Edmond de Rothschild and Banque Populaire XI will pass to the west.

Armel Le Cléac'h and Kevin Escoffier have managed to catch up with the group, "We've made some great manoeuvres and we're happy to be back in the game. Once again, a lot of things are going to happen" Escoffier said.

The next few hours should be calmer, before picking up speed again as they approach the Canaries, which they should reach by midnight. Escoffier explains, "The trade winds are not established so the descent of the Atlantic will leave room for some play. We're staying on top of it because the wind is unstable, so there's quite a bit of trimming to do."

The weather is getting warmer for the giant multihulls, which is a good sign of progress.

Ocean Fifty: A waltz of gybes

The gap is widening between the two multihull classes, but the 50-footers are fighting back well. They continue to make progress southwards and are now at the latitude of Cape St Vincent. In these conditions of 10-15 knots of wind, downwind, the Ocean Fiftys are fast.

Since rounding Cape Finisterre, the boats have been battling it out by gybing get an advantage on their rivals. "There's a great fight going on and we're in the game. We compare our performance every hour. There are a lot of options to take, it's great", Benoît Marie (Les P'tits Doudous) explained on the radio this morning.

IMOCA: arm wrestling along Portugal

The fleet of 21 is seeing plenty of one-on-one duels but he biggest is at the front. Apivia and LinkedOut have been battling it out from the start. Charlie Dalin and Paul Meilhat are still in first place, but the gap is narrowing. 30 miles to their north, Initiatives-Coeur and Charal are fighting for third place, and 11th Hour Racing Team - Malama and Arkea Paprec for fifth.

The pace is changing as they slip south, Morgan Lagravière (LinkedOut) explains, "We are changing our rhythm a little bit as the miles go by. We're spending less time at the chart table now, which is rather nice because we're in the game. It's very positive for the future. There'll be some good battles over the next few hours."

Meamwhile 11th Hour Racing Team - Alaka'i reached La Coruña last night following the breaking of their mast. Simon Fisher wrote, "Sadly we will be officially retiring from the race. Hopefully we'll be back for the next edition!"

Class40: will pass, will not pass

The 40-foot fleet now stretches over 200 miles. The gaps have been widening since they escaped the windless high pressure zone. The frontrunners have been able to start their descent towards Cape Finisterre, leaving the rest of the pack behind. However the wind remains unstable.

Contacted this morning at the radio session, the crew of Lamotte - Module Création recounted their misadventure of the morning, "We're in a bit of a mess. The spinnaker went in the water, fortunately we managed to recover it! Everything is fine though. We're working hard and trying to get the boat moving fast."

Once back at a decent speed the Class 40s will have to make as much distance as possible because another obstacle is heading their way. The high pressure cell is moving to the south-east and, if they're not careful, they could once again get stuck in a light wind zone allowing everyone to bunch up once again.

Ranking on 11th November at 10:00am

CLASS40:

1. La Manche #EvidenceNautique - Distance to destination 3972,54
2. Lamotte Module Création - Distance to destination 3980,89
3. Edenred - Distance to destination 3984,58

OCEAN FIFTY:

1. Koesio - Distance to destination 4608,71
2. Primonial - Distance to destination 4648,99
3. Solidaires En Peloton - Distance to destination 4663,97

IMOCA:

1. Apivia- Distance to destination 4807,19
2. LinkedOut - Distance to destination 4841,78
3. Charal - Distance to destination 4872,29

ULTIMES:

1. Maxi Edmond de Rothschild - Distance to destination 6552,92
2. SVR - Lazartigue - Distance to destination 6588,09
3. Actual Ultim 3 - Distance to destination 6600,55

VIRTUAL REGATTA:

CLASS40 - 1. Les_Vents_D_Anges_FullSave
OCEAN FIFTY - 1. runner44
IMOCA - 1. Freizh Volante TPN
ULTIME - 1. lescoundudo.TPN

www.transatjacquesvabre.org/en

Update from Class 40 - The big guns are back on track

After the incredible "marasmic" episode of the first three days of racing, and with the return of the wind from the East, the 45 Class40s still racing have, for the most part, regained speeds and performances in line with their capabilities, and have resumed a course in line with the demands of the competition. And in this context of "normality", the big guns, the big names, the favorites have been eager to show their nose, often rounded ones, to the front.

Approaching Cape Finisterre and its tricky Traffic Separation Scheme cluttered with cargo ships, the Normans Alexis Loison and Nicolas Jossier continue to delight their supporters, led by their coach Benoit Charron. They are leading the way ahead of all the favorites, and there are many of them in this highly competitive Class40. We find the "big names" Berry-Nebout (Lamotte Module création), Le Roch - Quiroga (Edenred), Gerkens-Hantzperg (Volvo) and the Swiss duo Gautier-Koster (Banque du Léman) grouped together within fifteen miles. Axel Tréhin and Frédéric Denis, who made one of the best progresses of the night, have brought their Project Rescue Ocean from 30th to 6th place. As one can see, the big guys are hard at play to tackle the tricky descent along Portugal and take advantage of this narrow corridor of wind surrounded by high pressure off the Iberian Peninsula. It's time for the big dance and the waltz of gybes under spinnaker!

With the return to the forefront of the potentially fastest boats in the fleet, we are once again praising the fine performance of the older boats Tquila (Richardson-Thompson 2014) and Milai (Beaugé-Suzuki - 2011), which we did not expect to see at this stage of the race. We can also see the pride of the fast boats that have been trapped for too long by the calms at the tip of Finistère, and which are now putting a lot of energy into their machines to get back in touch with the leaders. Redman (Carpentier - Santurde), Crosscall (Ducroz -Sineau) and Crédit Mutuel (Lipinski-Pulvé) are not fooling around but are doing what is necessary, at an average speed of 12 or 13 knots on the road, to come and play with their little comrades at the front. The leaders of the fleet are now teasing the latecomers in the Imoca Class.

While the majority of the fleet is enjoying some nice slips under spinnaker and on flat seas, there are still a number of them who are not enjoying these privileges. From Entrepreneurs pour la planète (Audigane-Jambou), 30th this morning to Rennes Saint Malo Rêves (Hugin-Bachmann) 44th, they are still struggling to get out of the vast tongue of high pressure which, at the rear of the fleet of this Transat Jacques Vabre, is still languishing across the Bay of Biscay. Finally, a word about the western breakaways. The American-British tandem Mehran-Owen (Polka Dot), the only boat in the whole fleet, including multihulls, to have crossed to the other side of the ridge of high pressure, is struggling to put its option into practice. Positioned 27th this morning, the duo is facing the edge of a strong oceanic low, for the smallest gain in approach of the whole fleet, with only 195 miles covered in the last 24 hours.

Performance of the day: Project Rescue Ocean (Axel Tréhin-Frédéric Denis) 244 miles covered in 24 hours, at an average of nearly 11 knots, and a stunning comeback from 30th to 6th place.

The duo of the day: Improbable, and so endearing, the duo of the Norman Calliste Antoine and the Croatian alpine ski champion Ivica Kostelic (Croatia full of life), author of an excellent start of the race; "We are proud of our performance so far. Being in the top 12 after 4 days of racing in the Transat Jacques Vabre is beyond our expectations."

Luke Berry - Lamotte Module Creation said, "Hello. We are hoping for some northerly winds with the Portuguese trade winds to come down after Cape Finistere. Otherwise, it's a bit cool at night but it's ok. We ate well, we were able to start doing real watches and try to recover a little from these first days of racing. We saw lots of marine animals, dolphins, tuna and even a whale."

Antoine Carpentier - Redman said, "It's good not to hear the sails flapping for lack of pressure... it was hard to see the competitors from the west take off at the same time as us, but we're not going to complain. The Bay of Biscay will have passed quickly and this, in an absolute comfort, we did not even put the oilskins, not a drop on the deck, nor of rain. Only happiness. We can see that the Manuard plans have done the housework well, it must be said that, even if the swell was quite big, the angle that we had with the waves was not embarrassing for beautiful accelerations without planting the bow at the bottom of the surf... The dolphins left us when the wind returned. On the sporting side, we are hanging on even if the leaders are still far away, the sea seems to be smoothing out a bit, the wind remains quite unstable in strength and direction, which makes sailing demanding: we have to constantly change the settings of the sails and the pilot to stay fast."

Manu Le Roch - Edenred said, "Hello! Soon the Finisterre Cape is approaching! Nice day on board Edenred. Initially unstable, the wind has gradually settled in, giving us our first nice slides! We are delighted to be back at double-digit speeds! We crossed the Imoca group Setin this morning, which makes us say that our Class 40 are really fast! It's great to see the rankings, it gives us a boost! See you soon!"

Mathieu Crépel - Everial said, "We started to touch the wind heir dan sua day. Nice night. We slid well under spinnaker at the beginning with 10-15 knots of wind that started to turn a little. We went back under gennaker. We are making good progress. Stan still hasn't opened any packages of candy, a good indicator of the atmosphere. We hope to pass Cape Finisterre during the day, so that we can deal with the daytime freighters... "

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